At the Fair: Frank's Famous Foods preserves Polish cooking traditions
BLOOMSBURG - In their little stand on 11th Street near the fairground's free stage, workers at this Frank's Famous Foods location are preserving the family traditions of good Polish cooking with a little innovation to cash in on the "deep fried fair foods" craze.
Only at this Mount Carmel-based stand can one try deep fried kielbasi chips, an invention of worker Debbie Horoschock.
When asked where the idea came from, Horoschock said there was some nocturnal inspiration for the delicacy.
"It came to me in a nightmare, no, a dream, a dream," Horoschock joked. "In the dream, we were working here and making this dish, so I wanted to make that dream happen."
After describing her idea to her daughter, Horoschock brought some kielbasi home to experiment with.
"She had the deep fryer heating up and several bowls of batter already made," she said. "We found the right combination of batter and kielbasi, created a creamy horseradish sauce that complements the spiciness and here we are."
The recipe is simple - about 10 kielbasi chips are dropped into batter and deep fried, then served with the tangy dipping sauce on the side.
It's a product that no other stand at the Bloomsburg Fair has, and has proven to be a hit.
"We have sold about 400 pounds of kielbasi so far," worker Rosie Costello said. "We had to restock our supply today because we were running out."
For those that are not adventurous, Frank's Famous Foods offers such Polish food staples such as haluski (noodles and cabbage), halupkies (stuffed cabbage rolls), potato cakes and pierogies.
The "Frank" in the business's name comes from Frank Kasinech, the person who developed these recipes.
"These are all my grandfather's recipes that he's used for over 60 years," Costello said. "We even picked the potatoes from Frank's Farm."
The staff says they will sell over 3.500 halupkies this week along with countless other items, all made by family members helping out owner Johnny Koschoff in this and the other two stands at the fairgrounds.
Costello said Frank's Famous Foods are gaining a reputation at the fair for their Polish dishes and those wanting to try them.
"We had an Asian gentleman from California stop by, specifically because he wanted to try this food he had never heard of before," Costello said. "He had the sampler platter which is a little bit of everything, and he was amazed by the good homemade food we gave him."
Good food and working with family will make the week fly by for the crew.
"It's always been a family tradition to make these dishes, and we are making new family traditions with people stopping here to enjoy them," Horoschock said.